This is a list of 25 things that I really would like my children to learn about life and what I consider to be the most important things that I can teach them in my role as their mother.
I’ve written them all down in the form of a letter that I will print up and give to each of them when they turn 18 but for now, this list is laminated and stuck to the back of our toilet door!
I am amazed how much of this has sunk in over the past few years and regularly hear them quoting parts of is to each other.
My dear, precious, amazing children,
1. Please know that I love you all so incredibly much. And love is most definitely a verb.
2. There is nothing that any of you could ever do that would cause me to love you less. But this revelation is not permission to break the law, intentionally hurt someone or create havoc. There is also nothing that I wouldn’t do for any of you. But don’t deliberately push me just to find out my limit.
3. There are not enough hours in the day to show you how special you all are to me, and I want you to remember that even when it appears that I am pre-occupied and too busy for you – I’m only ever a hug away. I will drop anything if any of you ever need me. And don’t believe anything or anyone that disputes this because it’s simply not true.
4. I believe that you are all capable of achieving great things and I will support whatever life decision you make. Even if what you choose to do is non-conventional and low paying. As long as it makes you happy and you do your best.
5. Having an asperger’s diagnosis gives you a reason for anger and resentment but not a right. There is a big difference. Some things will always seem more challenging and harder for you than for others but it’s not an excuse to give up. You are all blessed with many talents and skills and you WILL succeed despite being wired a little differently to your peers. Use this to your advantage instead. Choose to excel.
6. Respect those that are in leadership over you. You may not always agree with them but respect has nothing to do with this. If you learn this – you will go far in life.
7. Treat other people as you would like to be treated yourself and always go the extra mile. Let people cut in front of you in lines, pay for friend’s meals and be the first one to say “I’m sorry” .
8. Don’t retaliate. It only exacerbates the problem and makes matters much worse. It doesn’t achieve anything but creates more drama and grief.
9. Always take the high road – The view is much nicer from up there.
10. Don’t argue for argument’s sake and don’t desire to be right at all costs. It’s just not worth it in the end. Agreeing to disagree is a safer and much kinder route.
11. Stay close to one another. One day Dad and I will no longer be around and you will all need each other. Even when you’ve all grown up and have gone your own ways – keep the sibling link alive and nurtured.
You will be pleased that you did.
12. Always do your best. You don’t have to always win, but as long as you gave it your best shot – that’s the most important thing.
13. Know what you want out of life and give it all you’ve got. Don’t worry if your dream is not the same as everyone else around you. We were all created differently for a reason. We don’t all have the same giftings.
14. There is no right or wrong choice when it comes to life plans. The catch phrase I want you all to memorise and repeat as your life mantra is : Different is NOT wrong.
15. Be who you are. Be who you were created to be. Don’t mimic other people because you envy their lives. Things are never really as they appear. Everyone has problems – some people are just better at hiding theirs than others.
16. Don’t sit back and expect everything to be handed to you. Work hard and work faithfully. God will see to it that you are rewarded accordingly.
17. Don’t believe everything that people tell you. If it doesn’t line up with the word of God and doesn’t sit right within you – don’t take it on board – it’s not for you. It’s ok to say no.
18. Don’t cheat and don’t be dishonest. You will ALWAYS be found out on both accounts and people will learn that you cannot be trusted.
Keep your integrity in everything.
19. Speak words of life and words of love. Don’t beat people down verbally and don’t always say everything that you are thinking. Once a sentence is out- it’s impossible to take it back again.
Think before you speak.
20. Choose you life partner wisely. Choose someone who you not only love, but someone who you respect. Make sure it’s someone that treats you how you deserve to be treated and treat them well in return.
21. Talk about everything before you decide to marry.
22. Ask the hard questions like: Are we having children? When? How many? Where will we live? What is our plan B if things start to go awry? & What is our ultimate escape plan as a family? If you both know these things up front – most things can be worked out before they occur.
23. Aim high. Don’t settle for mediocre – you deserve the very best in life and don’t let anyone tell you otherwise.
24. Know your limits and learn balance. People pleasing is very taxing on your soul, your emotions, your family and ultimately your life. It’s impossible to serve two masters. Don’t let your work become more important than your family and don’t let anything become more important than your relationship with Christ.
Lastly and most importantly:
25. Put your trust in God not man. Man will ultimately fail you because we are all only human but God will NEVER fail you or forsake you. He will never let you fall.
Love always Mum xxxxx